NJ Supreme Court requires disclosure of buyers of auctioned public property

On May 23, 2018, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the sale of public property calls for transparency and that the identity of buyers at public auctions must be disclosed in order to guard against fraud and abuse. The particular case before the Court concerned the sale of confiscated sports memorabilia. We note that the taking and sale of private property by a governmental entity calls for even greater transparency to counter abuses because the process involves additional room for fraud by way of improper taking.

A quote from the NJ Supreme Court opinion:

“…the sale of government property at a public auction is a quintessential public event that calls for transparency. To guard against possible abuses, the public has a right to know what property was sold, at what price, and to whom.”

– Chief Justice Stuart Rabner




NJ Open Government Notes
Supreme Court orders disclosure of names and addresses of auction purchasers of confiscated sports memorabilia.
by John Paff
May 23, 2018


New Jersey Supreme Court: Release bidder names in disputed memorabilia auction
by Tom Nobile and Associated Press
May 23, 2018


New Jersey Globe
Supreme Court rules for Brennan in OPRA case: Bergen County Prosecutor ordered to release names of auction winners.
by David Wildstein
May 23, 2018


Gov’t Auction Bidders Are Public Record, NJ Justices Rule
By Jeannie O’Sullivan
May 23, 2018